MANILA - The Bureau of Immigration should "look into" the case of a foreign national who yelled at and argued with a police official who was enforcing the quarantine policy in an upscale subdivision in Makati City, Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Monday, hours after a video of the incident went viral.
The Immigration office "may have to look into the matter" and "if a deportation proceeding is in order, they should act swiftly and decisively," Lacson, a former chief of the national police, said in a statement.
"Arrogance has no place in our country - especially so in a situation where either all of us win, or all of us lose to the COVID-19 threat," Lacson said.
"Being an 'investor with 80 employees' as he claimed does not give the foreigner the right to confront and incessantly berate a police officer who is merely performing a risky duty in the manner that he did," the senator said.
Video of the altercation between Javier Salvador Parra and the police started after law enforcers went to the foreigner's house due to a complaint that Parra's household staff has been allegedly going out of their house without face masks.
Parra's wife showed a video of police handcuffing the foreigner who was allegedly suffering from a spinal injury, but officials later released a separate clip showing how the uniformed men tried to show restraint and reason with Parra while the foreigner berated them.
Lacson defended the officers who tried to arrest Parra despite the absence of a warrant.
"During these trying times, the Philippine National Police has the unenviable task of implementing an Enhanced Community Quarantine, without fear or favor," the senator said.
"Such is the case of police officers who arrested a foreigner in Makati City, after he challenged their authority with an arrogant and demeaning behavior," he said.
"As if this were not enough, the police officers were subjected to unfair criticisms from netizens who saw the 'edited' version of the video," he said.
The Makati Police said charges will be filed against Parra for disobeying authorities who were enforcing the ECQ.